Lesnar vs. Reigns Set for Day 1, Tony Nese Impresses and More Friday Fallout

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2021

Lesnar vs. Reigns Set for Day 1, Tony Nese Impresses and More Friday Fallout

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    Credit: WWE.com

    With WWE SmackDown and AEW Rampage airing on the same night for the past few months, Fridays have become the unofficial day for pro wrestling.

    The blue brand's latest show advanced several storylines. Brock Lesnar made his return after his suspension was lifted the previous week, and he found out that Sami Zayn had become the new No. 1 contender in his absence.

    Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo continued to build momentum with a win over The Viking Raiders, and Cesaro and Sheamus squared off in a battle of former tag team partners.

    Over on Rampage, Tony Nese received a TNT title shot against Sammy Guevara, and Pac teamed with Penta El Zero Miedo to face FTR in the main event.

    Let's look at some of the biggest moments from Friday's SmackDown and Rampage.

Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns Set for Day 1

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    The returning Lesnar opened Friday's show with a promo. But before he could say too much, Sami Zayn came down to the ring.

    He tried to tell The Beast that he was a fan, but Lesnar was not interested in hearing what Zayn had to say and basically threatened to eat him.

    After The Great Liberator informed him of his No. 1 contender status, Lesnar suggested that Zayn ask for his title shot tonight instead of at Day 1. He became quite insistent and coerced Zayn to ask for the match and even promised to be in Zayn's corner for the match.

    It looked like the main event would begin with about 30 minutes left in the show, but after a few video packages and a promo from Zayn, it became clear this title bout was not going to be a long, competitive contest.

    The Beast joined him in the ring and delivered several German suplexes and his F-5 finisher. Reigns came out and hit a Spear right away. He locked in a guillotine for the quick win to retain his title and set up his match with Lesnar at Day 1.

    This is the third match already booked for the January 1 PPV, so WWE is giving itself plenty of time to build up the rest of the card and strengthen these feuds.

Los Lotharios Continue to Build Momentum

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    Humberto Carrillo and Angel Garza took on Erik and Ivar in a quick tag match, but they ended up having some company in the form of Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs.

    While it looked like Nakamura and Boogs were going to cost Los Lotharios the win by distracting them with some sweet guitar riffs, Carrillo and Garza were able to score the win with a roll-up.

    Erik and Ivar looked angry, but they just ended up rocking out as Boogs played their entrance music on his guitar. The real story here is Carrillo and Garza finally getting a push.

    Both men were called up to the main roster and languished on Raw after their initial pushes fizzled out. But WWE finally saw the light and paired the real-life cousins together.

    Now, the pair are looking like prime candidates to get a shot at the SmackDown tag team titles in the near future. Whether that is against The Usos or a team that dethrones Jimmy and Jey remains to be seen, but it's just a matter of time before Los Lotharios have gold in their sights.

They Don't Raise the Bar; They Were the Bar

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    Two former tag team partners and decorated champions went to war Friday when Sheamus took on Cesaro in a singles match.

    These two dominated the tag team division for years and held the titles several times, but these days, they don't see eye to eye on most things. While Sheamus still likes to bend the rules, Cesaro tries to win his matches honorably.

    Both men are powerhouses who can brawl with the best of them, so they were aggressive out of the gate. The strikes were flying, and the submissions were wrenched in deep.

    Sheamus scored the win as Ridge Holland watched from backstage. WWE is still running this two-on-one feud without much indication of where it's going, but it has to lead to a tag match.

    Holland and Sheamus could make a great addition to the tag division once WWE sets them on that path, but this program with Cesaro needs to finish up first. Since this doesn't feel like a feud that will culminate in a pay-per-view bout, its ending will likely arrive in a week or two.

Tony Nese Impresses in Rampage Debut

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    Nese made his first in-ring appearance on Rampage on Friday with a big opportunity. He faced Guevara for the TNT Championship in what turned out to be a fantastic opening bout.

    Most mainstream fans will know Nese from his time with WWE, with whom he worked mostly on 205 Live and NXT toward the end of his run.

    During those years, Nese established himself as a gifted high-flyer, a great technician and a reliable opponent who can take care of the people he is facing.

    While he did not come away with the title Friday, Nese did earn himself a contract. Tony Khan announced via Twitter earlier in the day that Nese was officially All Elite, so we will be seeing a lot more of him.

    Where he goes from here is the question. Will he align with somebody else to form a tag team? Will he join and existing stable? What can he do to stand out from all of the other talented wrestlers on the roster?

    If his first few matches are any indication, Nese will be a great addition to the roster and help produce some fun and memorable matches.

Malakai Black Targets Pac

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Pac teamed up with Penta to take on FTR in the main event, but it's what happened with Malakai Black at the end of the match that matters most.

    As it looked like Pac and Penta were preparing to get the win, Black came from out of nowhere and spit mist into The Bastard's good eye, costing him the match and blinding him temporarily.

    While FTR dealt with Penta, Black proceeded to gouge at Pac's eye until his hand came away with blood on it. It was a gruesome sight for even those with a strong stomach.

    Setting up Pac and Black to feud is smart. These are two guys who have had similar paths in this business, but more importantly, they are both great at what they do.

    With the Winter is Coming episode of Dynamite set for Dec. 15, it feels like the perfect opportunity to put these two in the ring together and let them fight it out.

    Both SmackDown and Rampage had their highs and lows Friday, but Nese and Guevara probably took home the Match of the Night award.